World Teachers' Day 2020: UN chief thanks educators for 'crucial role'; 'teachers leading in crisis' is this year's theme

World Teachers' Day is observed on 5 October to celebrate the teaching profession across the globe, highlight their achievements and draw attention to the voices of teachers who are working to attain the global education target of leaving no one behind.

Held annually since 1994, the day commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 International Labour Organization (ILO) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO) recommendation concerning the status of teachers.

The recommendation sets benchmarks regarding the responsibilities and rights of teachers as well as standards for their preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, and teaching and learning conditions. World Teachers’ Day is observed in partnership with UNICEF, the International Labour Organization and Education International.

The day also celebrates the adoption of the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel by the UNESCO General Conference in 1997.

UN Secretary General António Guterres shared a message on Twitter on the occasion, hailing the "most crucial roles" played by teachers and thanking "educators worldwide for providing knowledge, support and inspiration".

UNESCO tweeted, "'One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.' Just like @Malala, we believe in the power of teachers to change the world. #MondayMotivation #WorldTeachersDay."

The theme for World Teachers' Day 2020 is 'Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future'.

The day has become the occasion to mark progress and highlight the ways to counter the challenges for the promotion of the teaching profession.

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly added to the challenges faced by the education system throughout the world. The theme aims to create an awareness that everyone must work with teachers to protect the right to education.

According to UNESCO, the issue of teacher leadership in relation to crisis responses is not just timely but critical in terms of the contributions teachers have made to provide remote learning, support vulnerable populations, re-open schools and ensure that learning gaps have been mitigated.

Due to the current pandemic situation, this year World Teachers' Day celebrations will take place online. Apart from the World Teachers' Day Opening Ceremony and UNESCO-Hamdan Prize Awards Ceremony on 5 October and the Closing Ceremony on 12 October, there will be a series of national, regional and global events throughout the week.



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